Alan Watts was not confined to a single label and wasn’t even an expert in what he philosophized. His various recordings and books related to Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen and Taoism, however, he wasn’t an academic or a monk, not following any system rigidly.
He called himself a spiritual entertainer, though his unorthodox style, a flamboyant life and other unique traits made him one of the leading philosophers of the 21st century.
Most people are afraid of breathing, unable to exhale after they inhale, due to the uncertainty and insecurity of life. They are afraid to live, to let go and are not sure that the next breath will come, so they do what is logical: Hold their own breath.
Our fundamental misunderstanding is that we are alone in this world and must face the reality. This creates a fight between us and the world and is the basis of the ‘us vs them’ thinking that reinforces the feeling of separation, lack and disconnection.
Human life and all the other life does not work in harmony when we try to force or impose something that we assume is under our control. Man has always imposed his own will and mind over nature, making a basic error of judgement in considering himself as an all-knowing God.
This also creates a barrier, a conflict between objects which are otherwise in complete harmony. Nature is not against anyone, but if a species like ours has gained sentience and decided to conquer nature, it will revert back aptly.
Religions are divisions, making people separate from others. Most religions follow the concept of belief, that the truth is already there and you simply have to believe in it.
These religions have imposed beliefs, doctrines and sets of ideas that are supposed to be holding the truth, and some even have deities and other entities with divine power that supposedly protect us from the harsh truths of life: uncertainty, impermanence, death and change. These harsh truths are paradoxically essential for understanding life.
“Only words and conventions can isolate us from the entirely undefinable something which is everything.”
Tao is the way of nature, and the way to be in accord with it is Wu Wei that is non-doing. This non-action, effortless effort, or actionless action goes past most western societies who are having a ‘doing’ mentality rather than a ‘being’ one.
Acting out of the result in mind is not being in accord with the way of nature, as we are already imposing something in our actions. The agenda is already there.
Nothing exists except the present moment, as even the past or the future need the present moment to take shape. It seems shorter than a microsecond but encompasses all eternity.
Apart from this moment, one cannot be anywhere else.
“Life is a dance, and when you are dancing you are not intent on getting somewhere… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”
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